Just because we're so far removed from the days of being asked whether or not we wanted to sit in the smoking section of a restaurant, that doesn't mean that smoking is completely gone. Once in a while you find yourself walking into a bar, and on the rarest of occasions a restaurant, where you can still have a smoke inside.
So what are the rules, really, when it comes to smoking in the Lone Star State?
Does Texas Have A Statewide Ban On Smoking?
There was a lot of feathers being ruffled back when Texas raised the legal age to purchase a pack of smokes, and e-cigarettes, to 21. That doesn't mean, though, that Texas is necessarily anti-smoking.
There is a statewide restriction for certain places. For instance, childcare centers/homes, elevators, movie theaters, K-12 school properties, planes, buses, trains, and so on. Pretty simple, common sense type of stuff.
But that's pretty much where it ends. At a state level, there's no restriction on public places, workplaces, restaurants, or bars.
Why Can't I Smoke In My Favorite Bar In Texas?
This is where it gets Lone Star Complicated. Cities are allowed to make regulations that are more strict than the state level restrictions. So while the state may say you can light up in a bar, your city may feel differently.
Once you get the cities involved, the rules become as diverse as the Lone Star State itself.
Some cities are more strict than others. Austin, for instance, is famous for being staunchly anti-smoking and almost has the city completely smoke free. Other places are a little more loosey-goosey.
So, Is Smoking Illegal In Texas?
Depends on where you decide to hang your hat for the night. Your best bet is just to do the sensible thing in Texas. Look for a sign posted nearby letting you know what's okay for you to do, and what's not.
Also, if you walk in and there are ashtrays available, you can probably do the math and figure it out from there.